Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature

BoilerCast upgrade gives faculty more control, enhanced features

Yung-Hsiang Lu
Yung-Hsiang Lu, associate professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

For the past two semesters, Yung-Hsiang Lu, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has scheduled his Advanced C Programming course to be recorded by BoilerCast, ITaP’s automated lecture audio and screen recording service, to help students review lectures.

“This course has a lot of material, and if a student doesn’t understand something in a lecture, it’s difficult to understand the next lesson,” Lu says. “BoilerCast captures everything I do in class – audio as well as video of my computer screen and drawings projected through the document camera – and automatically publishes to Blackboard Learn where students can access the content.”

Though Lu says BoilerCast is a valuable tool for student learning, at times he has wished instructors had more control over when class is recorded. In the past, Lu has preferred portions of class go unrecorded, such as when students work on practice problems. Moreover, because BoilerCast automatically stops recording at the end of scheduled class time, important information at the end of a few extended class sessions was not captured.

Beginning this fall, Lu and other BoilerCast users will gain the ability to solve these issues thanks to an upgrade that gives instructors increased control over BoilerCast recordings. With a click of the mouse, instructors now have the ability to start captures early, extend captures late, and pause and stop captures.

In addition to Start/Stop/Pause/Extend functionality, the BoilerCast upgrade allows instructors who register their courses via Web form to make impromptu ad hoc captures, schedule live stream sessions and access detailed analytics on student viewing habits for courses published to Blackboard Learn. To maximize the quality of recorded audio, ITaP technicians tested each BoilerCast-enabled classroom for audio capture, making adjustments to those classrooms that needed them.

“With this upgrade, registered instructors now have more flexibility and increased options when leveraging BoilerCast as a tool for student learning,” says Larry French, ITaP’s manager of learning spaces operations.

Requests for course recordings are now being accepted for the 2013 fall semester. Submitting an early request helps ensure that the order can be met before classes start.

During the 2012-13 academic year, BoilerCast’s popularity reached new heights as student usage surpassed 300,000 views for the first time. This milestone was driven by a surge in faculty and student interest. Since the end of the 2010-11 academic year, faculty adoption of the service has grown by 50 percent, while student views have grown by 70 percent.

Kelly Blanchard
Kelly Blanchard, continuing lecturer, Krannert School of Management

Long-time BoilerCast user Kelly Blanchard, a continuing lecturer in the Krannert School of Management, schedules classroom recordings of her introductory economics courses to be automatically published to Blackboard Learn after each class via Web Link. Blanchard has found that BoilerCast requires minimal effort on her part, helps students looking to improve and has no noticeable effect on student attendance.

“There’s still an advantage to coming to class and interacting with a person,” Blanchard says. “But if you’re in a lecture with 400 other students and you miss something, it’s good to have the ability to listen again by yourself.”

With the recent upgrade, Blanchard sees BoilerCast’s live streaming capability as a better way to conduct evening review sessions prior to exams, eliminating the delay between the classroom capture and online post of the session and allowing students to participate virtually. BoilerCast live streaming, which can be requested by submitting a Web form, is available in select classrooms and includes chat capabilities so viewers can communicate in real time.

“When the exam is the next day, that delay between the capture and post is sometimes difficult for students,” Blanchard says. “A live stream would be really convenient in that instance.”

A demonstration of BoilerCast’s new features, in addition to its basic editing capabilities, will be given by ITaP educational technologists 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22. Instructors are invited to reserve a seat at the session through the ITaP training calendar.

To learn more about BoilerCast and other technology tools available to instructors, visit ITaP’s teaching and learning website or contact ITaP’s teaching and learning group at tlt-consulting@purdue.edu.

Writer: Jonathan Hines, technology writer, ITaP, 765-496-7998, hines18@purdue.edu

Sources: Kelly Blanchard, continuing lecturer, Krannert School of Management, 765-494-7956, khb@purdue.edu

Yung-Hsiang Lu, associate professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 765-494-2668, yunglu@purdue.edu

Larry French, manager of learning spaces operations, ITaP, 765-496-3694, lfrench@purdue.edu

Last updated: July 24, 2013